Autograph letter signed to the music publisher George Hartmann, dated September 18, [18]97. Claude DEBUSSY.
Autograph letter signed to the music publisher George Hartmann, dated September 18, [18]97.

Autograph letter signed to the music publisher George Hartmann, dated September 18, [18]97.

1 page. Octavo, ca. 247 x 201 mm.

Debussy asks his publisher for an advance of 500 francs to facilitate the composition of his pantomime, La chevalier d'or: "Naturally I have great problems, complicated by my father's illness, and I shall like to have a little peace to compose my pantomime the best and quickest [way] possible."

Creased at folds and slightly overall; very small stain to lower blank margin of recto.

"One of the most important musicians of his time, [Debussy's] harmonic innovations had a profound influence on generations of composers. He made a decisive move away from Wagnerism in his only complete opera Pelléas et Mélisande, and in his works for piano and for orchestra he created new genres and revealed a range of timbre and colour which indicated a highly original musical aesthetic." François Lesure and Roy Howat in Grove Music Onlin

La chevalier d'or, "a Rosicrucian pantomime si esthétique de Madame [Jean-Louis] Forain," was intended for private performance at her Paris home, probably for Christmas 1897. Although Debussy had evidently completed a musical plan for the pantomime, he never finished it. In a letter, dated 1 November, Debussy tells René Peter that Le chevalier was "naturally still not finished." When Madame Forain gave him a deadline to complete the work, Debussy remarked that it would be just as easy "to learn Assyrian" as to comply with it. Orledge: Debussy and the Theatre, p. 264.

George Hartmann (d. 1900) secured the rights to all Debussy's works for 500 francs a month in 1895. In a letter to Pierre Louys, Debussy wrote "[Hartmann] was sent to me by Providence and played his part with a grace and charm quite rare among the philanthropists of art." Paul Jackson. Item #23207

Price: $3,750.00  other currencies

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